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CU festival to focus on American identities

Cameron University will focus on "American Identities in the 20st Century" for the university's 10th academic festival, a privately funded yearlong symposium. 

Through a series of presentations by nationally recognized speakers, Cameron will consider three distinct aspects of the festival theme: "Social Justice and the American Dream," "Migration, Immigration and Emigration" and "America's Place in the World: Power, Diplomacy and Commerce." The presentations will take place throughout the 2017-2018 academic year and all the presentations are open to the public at no charge. 

"Cameron's triennial academic festival has established a reputation for bringing thought-provoking, informative and entertaining speakers to southwest Oklahoma," said Cameron President John McArthur. 

During the academic year, author and journalist Charles Mann, media correspondent and activist Michele Norris and retired Army Gen. Jack Keane will share their expertise and perspectives in a series of individual speaking engagements in the University Theater.

All events associated with the festival are open to the public and generally at no admission cost  the only exception are theatrical performances  but tickets are required due to expected demand. For information on acquiring tickets, visit, and click on "Festival X Ticket Request Form" on the top left of the page. Tickets will be made available approximately 30 days prior to each speaking engagement.

The festival kicks off on Sept. 28 with a presentation by Mann. Mann is the author of "1491," a nationally acclaimed history of the Americas before Columbus that received the National Academy of Science's Keck Award for Best Book of the Year. His follow-up,"1493", covers the global effects of Columbus' arrival in the Americas. As a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly and Science magazines, Mann has covered the intersection of science, technology and commerce for many newspapers and magazines in the United States and abroad, including Bioscience, Fortune, Geo, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Paris-Match, Smithsonian, Der Stern, Technology Review, The Washington Post and Wired.

Mann is the co-author of four other books, among them "The Second Creation"  a history of particle physics  and "Noah's Choice"  a study of biodiversity. A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, Mann has received writing prizes from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Margaret Sanger Foundation. In 2008, the American Geographical Society named him an Honorary Geographer.

Tickets for Mann's presentation will be available in late August.

Former National Public Radio host, special correspondent and founder of The Race Card Project, award-winning journalist Norris will take the speaker's dais on Nov. 9. Norris served as co-host of NPR's newsmagazine "All Things Considered," public radio's longest-running national program, from December 2002 until stepping away from the program during the 2012 presidential campaign. While on sabbatical, Norris traveled the country and developed two successful initiatives, The Race Card Project and NPR's Backseat Book Club. The Race Card Project encourages people to condense their observations and experiences about race into one sentence with just six words. Norris and collaborators won a 2014 Peabody Award for the project.

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